Expensive bicycles are often parked carelessly and even if you lock your beloved two-wheeler just to be on the safe side – customary locks can be cracked within seconds. Once the e-bike or pedelec is gone – chances are low to ever seeing your bike again. The percentage of bicycle theft solved by the police depending on where you live is under 10 percent. A pedelec insurance can offer protection in case of a theft and cover the associated financial loss. But when is an insurance for an e-bike or pedelec worth it? Which insurance is the right one? Does a regular home owner’s insurance suffice?
In our guide there is an overview of what is important when you take out an insurance for your e-bike or pedelec. First, the type of insurance depends on the type of bicycle because e-bike insurances are legally distinguished from pedelecs.
A pedelec 25 is a version of a human-powered bicycle. In contrast to an e-bike, the engine of a pedelec 25 assists the physical strength. The electric drive is only activated when the cyclist pedals. The physical performance is strengthened by the electric assist and you can cycle faster without endeavouring more. The power of the engine is limited to a maximum assistance of 25 km/h. The performance ability of the engine of a pedelec 25 may not exceed 250 watt. According to the traffic law a pedelec 25 is considered as a standard bicycle – there are no specific usage restrictions. That means that you do not need either a driver’s license or a third-party vehicle insurance. Basically it is barred from a compulsory insurance.
Performance ability of e-bikes and pedelecs 45 is higher than those of a pedelec 25. It assists up to 45 km/h and the performance ability of the engine can exceed 250 watt. You do not have to pedal when using an e-bike – unlike with pedelecs – because if the engine is activated, the e-bike also accelerates if you do not pedal but press a button or twist the grip. Legally, e-bikes and pedelecs 45 are equivalent to a moped and therefore require a third-party vehicle insurance. It consists of a liability insurance which can possibly be expanded by a partially comprehensive insurance.
With the expanding e-bike and pedelec market, the number of insurance companies also increases. It is worth it to inform yourself about the conditions and to reconsider your personal ideas and usage habits: To what amount should my pedelec be insured? Do I also use my pedelec at night or do I let it stand outside more often? Would I like to be picked up when my bicycle breaks down? Should technical repairs be covered?
Insurance companies usually offer insurance packages with different benefits. These can range from mere theft protection to liability in case of attrition to breakdown service. A monthly comprehensive package of benefits without percentage excess is more expensive than an insurance with percentage excess. As with a car you should check the insurance benefits in any case and compare the different insurance companies.
Advantages: A pure theft insurance can already take place within a standard home owner’s insurance which can often be extended by an additional protection for expensive bicycles or pedelecs. Thereby usually all bicycles are insured within a family. The indemnity is based on the value of the stolen bicycle when it was new and is paid without conditions. This means that the insurance pays the price of the bicycle – or part of it – regardless of what you are spending the money for afterwards. So you do not have to prove that you purchased a new bicycle or paid for a repair.
Disadvantages: In some cases home owner’s insurances refuse to cover pedelecs due to the high limit of liability. In addition, a pedelec is only protected against theft if it is stolen from locked rooms such as a garage or a basement. To protect a pedelec against theft on public roads, you need an additional bicycle policy. Depending on the risk where you live, the annual contribution ranges between 20 to 250 Euro. Even then a pedelec is only insured for a short period - such as doing grocery shopping – and not between 10 pm and 6 am, although some insurance companies offer a 24 hour extension of protection. Moreover, a home owner’s insurance covers only a certain percentage of the total sum insured of bicycles, which may be too low for expensive pedelecs.
If you want to insure a very expensive bicycle – like an e-bike or a pedelec 45 – you should take out a special insurance for bicycles. Relatively low costs for your insurance per month are worth it if you compare it to the high aquisition costs up to 3.000 EUR. Policies are often offered by the bicycle dealer when you buy a new electric bicycle.
Advantages: A special pedelec insurance is more effective than a home owner’s insurance. Theft on the street is co-insured – regardless of day- or nighttime. Depending on agreed conditions an insurance does not only cover theft but is also liable for vandalism and even technical damages and breakdowns. Damages by third parties may as well be included in the insurance coverage. Thus, an insurance can protect you from high costs and maintain the joy of riding a pedelec.
The following insurance benefits may be included:
Disadvantages: A bicycle insurance requires that every bike is insured separately. If your bike gets stolen you will not get any money but you will be reimbursed with an equivalent bicycle. In case of damages you have to prove repair. Insurance companies often require special brand bicycle locks when parking. Bicycle insurances are usually more expensive than a home owner’s insurance: if the original price is 2.500 EUR or more, an insurance costs about 150 to 500 EUR a year – depending on the insurance package. Costs of a sole theft protection insurance range between 15 and 30 EUR per month, a repair service costs about 20 to 30 EUR per month and an all-round protection costs about 30 to 40 EUR per month. At a term longer than one year (up to 5 years) the monthly fee decreases significantly.